Zambia’s Multiple Category Targeting Grant: 36-Month Impact Report

Sudhanshu Handa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In 2010, the government of the Republic of Zambia implemented the Child Grant cash transfer program, the results of which offer evidence that small-scale cash transfers to poor rural households with young children can stimulate economic activity while alleviating poverty. Building on this, in 2011, the Zambian government—through the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health—began implementing the Multiple Category Transfer Grant program (MCTG) in two districts: Luwingu and Serenje.

Overall Results After Three Years

The overall impacts at 36 months were similar in pattern and magnitude to those found in earlier rounds. In addition to eating more meals and being more food secure, families are improving their housing conditions, buying more livestock, buying necessities for children, reducing their debt, and investing in productive activities. Each Kwacha transferred provides 1.68 Kwachas in terms of net benefit to the household. The results demonstrate unequivocally that common perceptions about cash transfers—that they are handouts and cause dependency, or lead to alcohol and tobacco consumption—are not true in Zambia.